Of the myriad features included in iOS/iPadOS 17 and macOS 14, one critical — yet often overlooked feature — is the addition of the Return to Service Command. While it may not be as flashy as consumer-aimed features, the Return to Service Command is indeed a boon for the IT and Mac Admins who are charged with not only managing devices but also ensuring a quick yet secure turnaround time for device redeployment.
Considering that many businesses that deploy company-owned Apple devices do so at a 1:1 ratio, some might feel as though the company has an endless pool of shiny new MacBooks, iPhones or iPads just sitting in storage. Sadly, this isn’t the case, with these heavily used resources limited to the finite number available. Hence the criticality of ensuring that returned devices are carefully backed up and inventoried before they are provisioned once again to a new user, all on a timely basis.
For shared environments like libraries, educational institutions and usage by patients in the medical industry, device turnaround times are even shorter, and often the pool of available devices is even more limited. Not to mention the necessity of complying with any regulatory requirements governing the handling of security and privacy data across respective industries.
…In with the new
To address these concerns, Apple has developed the Return to Service Command, titled
EraseDeviceCommand.Command.ReturnToService, which may be used by administrators when devices require sanitization and provisioning prior to being redeployed to a new user.
What’s the difference between this new workflow and the previous method?
Return to Service ensures that not only are devices securely wiped and the OS reinstalled, but the device is also automatically reenrolled within the organization’s MDM solution so that the device may receive all necessary apps and configurations (like Wi-Fi profile installation) and device records are appropriately updated to reflect new inventory data.
No manual intervention by IT or the end-user is necessary after the command is executed.
For more information on how Return to Service works, Apple has provided an interactive tutorial site that walks admins through Preparing Devices for a Return to Service.
Jamf streamlines redeployment workflows
With its best-of-breed management solutions aimed at the enterprise, school and SMB segments — combined with its continuing pledge to offer same-day support for Apple operating systems, patches and the latest features, Jamf supports the Return to Service command for Jamf Pro, Jamf School and Jamf Now solutions, permitting Jamf administrators the flexibility and ease to quickly and efficiently redeploy managed devices while making sure that they remain managed and secured at each step of the provisioning process.
Furthermore, Jamf’s extensive experience in Apple management and security extends to the Learning Hub as well, providing detailed information on:
- What Return to Service is
- How it works
- How it integrates with Apple Business/School Manager to extend functionality
- Step-by-step guidance to redeploy devices with Return to Service
- General requirements
- Important keys effectively used in conjunction with Return to Service
Jamf Pro supports all MDM commands as part of its native, same-day support promise for Apple frameworks.
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